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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Aug;69(16):2635-56. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-0942-4. Epub 2012 Mar 3.

Regenerating functional heart tissue for myocardial repair.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA.


Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and the number of patients with the disease is likely to grow with the continual decline in health for most of the developed world. Heart transplantation is one of the only treatment options for heart failure due to an acute myocardial infarction, but limited donor supply and organ rejection limit its widespread use. Cellular cardiomyoplasty, or cellular implantation, combined with various tissue-engineering methods aims to regenerate functional heart tissue. This review highlights the numerous cell sources that have been used to regenerate the heart as well as cover the wide range of tissue-engineering strategies that have been devised to optimize the delivery of these cells. It will probably be a long time before an effective regenerative therapy can make a serious impact at the bedside.

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